Sunday, August 31, 2008

Praying for those Facing Gustav

Please join me in praying for all of those already impacted by Hurricane Gustav and for those who are in the storm's path. My family lives in Gulfport, MS, so of course I'm watching the storm's path and praying that it will somehow miraculously decrease in force.

My mom is safe with my sister Erin up near Chicago this weekend, but my Daddy and sister Brady have work duties that do not allow them to evacuate the area. That, of course, makes me incredibly nervous and concerned for them and for all of the other safety workers whose duties call them to protect and serve others at times like these.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Odds and Ends

Well, the first week of school is winding down and everyone seems to be off to a great start. The CMM blog has been quiet this week as I've been doing a lot of posting at both Faith and Family Live and Productivity @ Home. Feel free to check out those sites for some of my random musings from this week.

In the mean time, I thought I'd share with you here a few of the highlights of this week on the family front. Adam is firmly ensconced in being an Eighth grader. When I watch him confidently stride onto campus at the beginning of each day, it sometimes takes my breath away that he's so grown up and capable. He is loving his classes and teachers. His fencing continues and he's now playing the flute, along with the clarinet and the drums. He and Eric are going to perform at our school carnival in September, so he's busy at work developing a "set list" for that big gig!

Eric finished his first full week of classes and is off to a great start in his new school. He was elected to an ASB student government position and earned a spot on the school's jazz band after a stressful audition process. We're still waiting to hear about Orchestra - hopefully we will earn a place there too. It seems that concerts, Irish music sessions, and extemporaneous jam sessions have taken the place of football, which is a happy thing for Mom. Eric also decided on a new foreign language and will be studying French this year. Since I was a French major about a million years ago, I was happy with that decision!

So life is full, busy and happy, which is a blessed thing. We're looking forward to the three day weekend and hope to spend most of it at home resting and relaxing. I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well and that your transition back to school is as smooth and wonderful as ours has been!

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's confirmed...

I still hate the first day of school.

I thought maybe I'd evolved and that taking Adam to his first day of 8th grade today wouldn't be so bad...

I was wrong. I still need tissue, hugs from friends, and encouragement that heading back to school is actually a good thing. Despite his comments otherwise, Adam was anxious to get out the door to school and we arrived twenty minutes early. Sufficient time for him to give me a sheepish hug and head off with his buddies - leaving mom to feel nostalgic alone.

This is the start of our last year at St. Anthony's. Perhaps because Eric has transitioned to public school, I'm feeling more than ever the sense of joy at simple pleasures like being able to start the new school year with a prayer service. Watching my son's classmates, the new 8th graders, take charge of the prayer service and be the big kids on campus is a joy. In a few months, they've transformed from slightly awkward 7th graders to the role models for all of the other students.

Another thing hit that hit me this morning is how old I am! I watched young, stylish moms with little kindergartners in tow and felt like it was just yesterday that we were beginning our St. Anthony's journey. How can the years have flown by so quickly?!

Blessedly, today is a minimum day and I will pick Adam up in less than two hours and go to lunch with his buddies (and mine, their moms!). Before I know it, it will be December, and March, and then time for graduation...

For today though, I want to remember the feeling of another "first" which is also a "last" and to thank every teacher who ever welcomed my boys on the first day of school with a confident smile and a committed heart. Because I know you love my kids so very much, I'm willing to part with them for a few hours every day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Catholic Moments #66 - John Grassadonia

This week, I'm happy to share an interview with Catholic musician John Grassadonia and to feature songs from his wonderful new CD Live Like Saints. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection entitled "Tips for Successful Marriage". Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for This Episode:
John Grassadonia
Faith and Family Live Marriage Blog
Parish Media Liaison Kerry Madden - Making Good Choices in Gaming
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Moments Ustream Channel
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #66

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Home from my Retreat

I spent today at our parish retreat, preparing myself spiritually for the start of the new school year which begins tomorrow with Eric's first "real" day of his Junior year. I've blogged about my day over at Faith and Family Live and invite your thoughts here or there on how we, as busy parents, can find time in our days for the prayer we so greatly need.

And speaking of prayer, I would ask that you please remember in your prayer intentions "David" who is facing surgery for a mass which has been found in his kidney. Please pray for healing for David and for strength for his family as they see him through this health challenge.

Faith & Family Live! : Pausing to Pray

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to School Resources:

In anticipation of the start of the school year, I'm once again working on pulling together some resources for Back to School. This is what we have so far, but feel free to chime in with your favorite links, resources, articles and ideas!

Getting Ready for Back to School with

Lisa on WWOW

I’m happy to announce an upcoming appearance on Catholic Mornings with Gary and Michelle Gersin on Tuesday, August 19 at 8:30 am EST. Gary and Michelle’s daily talk show airs on 1360 AM WWOW in Ohio, but listeners around the country can listen in live here.

Our topic will be "Back to School" so I'd love your tips and suggestions for parents and students as we commence this new school year. How would you counsel a parent who is sending a child to school for the first time? How can parents of teens help their students start the year with success? What are you putting in lunch boxes? I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions, so chime in! Weekly Column Roundup

This week's columns are up and running over at How are you doing this week? My week has been eventful already, with Eric heading off this morning for a day of orientation for his Junior year of high school. For those who have not already heard, Eric will be transferring schools this year to attend University High School on the campus of California State University Fresno. Since Kindergarten, Eric has attended our local Catholic schools. The transfer will enable him to study music, play in the Orchestra and Jazz band, and take college classes. He is so excited about the transfer, but I have to admit to being very nervous. In addition to the fact that he will not be able to study religion (or pray) at school for the very first time, he is going to be studying with kids I've never met and teachers I don't know. Since I was the product of all Catholic schools, this is my very first experience with public school. Please pray for Eric as he embarks on this new adventure, and for his Mom as well as she undergoes this transition.

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy these columns and that your week is blessed beyond measure!

The Canaanite Woman by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Asking for the Gift We Do Not Know We Need by Sherry Antonetti

Parenting Your Baby Naturally by Kelly, Our "Kitchen Kop"

Gifts of God: A Call to Married Couples by Heidi Hess Saxton

Reality Check on Tweens by Marybeth Hicks

Sweet Solution by Michele Howe

No Pitter Patter of Little Feet in this House by Lisa Barker

Support the Troops through Prayer

Thanks to Lisa Wheeler of the Maximus Group for sharing the following information. Please consider contacting your parish ASAP to see if you can participate in supporting our troops through prayer:

Maximus just got brought as part of an unbelievable, but powerful challenge – the distribution of 2 million prayers cards in honor of our troops by September 5th.

We know the best way to make this happen (and to make the beautiful prayer written by an Army Chaplain efficacious throughout the country) is to unite our churches and their communities.

The prayers cards are completely free including postage and delivery. All we need is the commitment from the church, school or organization to accept the prayer cards and distribute them to their parishioners or members on the weekend of September 6th and 7th.

The website features the prayer as well as additional resources for churches to unite and pray for the men and women serving in our Armed Forces. A touching video presentation is also available that you can imbed on websites and social platforms.

Please, please, pass this on to everyone you know. They can contact us with the information on their order for their church or ministry. We would need the following:

Name of church
Street Address for mailing
Contact Name
Contact Phone Number
Contact Email Address
Number of prayer cards

Please email us at Maximus at this address: or call us by phone – 678-990-9032. You may ask for Ashley Walker, Lisa Huber or Nick Shaw.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Joy of Being "Auntie" Lisa

Dear Patrick,

I’m on the train back home to Fresno after having spent the past day with you and am missing you like crazy already. I wanted to thank you for the joy of being your Auntie – you are a precious gift from God and I’m blessed every time I am able to spend time with you. The following are just a few of my favorite things about being your Auntie Lisa:

• Arriving on the train with a Thomas the Tank engine whistle and a train coloring book for you and watching your eyes light up at the site of the Amtrak train
• Sitting by the potty with you as you’re learning to be a “big boy” and reading books and singing songs
• Sneaking into your bed at bedtime for one more kiss and some quiet snuggling
• Waking up to your sweet smile first thing in the morning
• Seeing you grow and develop in big and little ways every time I see you
• Glowing with pride when I watch your Daddy, my little brother, bathe you and read to you and knowing the most important reason he was put on this earth was to be your Daddy.

The only difficult part of being your Auntie is having to get back on the train and go home, saying goodbye to you. Knowing that you’ll be even more grown up and more precious next time I see you makes me anxious to buy my next train ticket. So thanks for playing trains with me, singing “Circle Game” with me, and putting up with an Auntie who can’t get enough of you. I love you sweetie!

Auntie Lisa

If you're Patrick's Nana or anyone who's as crazy about him as I am, feel free to view these photos from my trip this weekend - catching a three year old quickly enough to snap a photo can be a true challenge!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The best ten minutes you'll spend today...

outside of Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption, just might be the ten minutes you take to watch the following video featuring the Sikorra family sharing their family fight against Batten Disease. I found this video to be incredibly inspiring, mostly due to the wonderful attitude of the two parents who must be facing life's worst nightmare and still find the grace and energy to look at every day of their lives as a miracle. I hope you can take a few moments to enjoy the video and join me in prayerful support of this family and others who face monumental health challenges. To learn more, visit

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Celebrate the Feast of the Assumption with Two Special Ladies!

Our good friend and columnist Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle will be celebrating the Feast of the Assumption tomorrow, Friday August 15 with an appearance on Teresa Tomeo's Catholic Connection program. Tune in live at 9:00 am EST to hear the ladies at

Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration: Tune in to "Mom's Corner" on the feast of the Assumption!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Catholic Moments #65 - Barbara Gangi, Tyler's Ride

This week, Lisa is excited to chat with Barbara Gangi, Executive Producer of the great new online series Tyler's Ride, created by Paulist Productions. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection entitled "Speak to the Animals". Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for This Episode:
Faith and Family Live
Tyler's Ride
Paulist Productions
Fireproof the Movie
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Moments Ustream Channel
Catholic Mom Logo Store
Music by Lorraine Doan

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #65

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Newsflash! Teresa Tomeo's Latest Book

I wanted to bring to your attention my latest review - an indepth look at Newsflash: My Surprising Journey from Secular Anchor to Media Evangelist by Teresa Tomeo. I already had a tremendous admiration for Teresa and her work prior to reading this book, but Newsflash left me even more inspired by her story. As I state in my review, I was under the false assumption that Teresa must have led some sort of star-crossed life that kept her on the path to both stardom and sainthood. You need to read the book to find out the true story for yourself, but suffice it to say that Teresa shares all of the ups and downs that led her to her current vocation as an internationally syndicated radio host and bestselling author.

I know you will love Newsflash and that you'll want to purchase the book for friends and family members as well - this book and Teresa's honest sharing of her own path home to the Church have the potential to touch many hearts and souls. As a bonus, orders placed before September 1st will receive free shipping and handling. If you have a blog, podcast or website, I hope you will consider reprinting my review or linking to it to help spread the word about this great read. Enjoy!

My review of Newsflash by Teresa Tomeo

Do We Have to Go Back to School?

A glance at my calendar this morning reminded me that one of my least favorite times of the year is almost upon me! I HATE "Back to School", so this week I'm in need of a major attitude adjustment. I'm asking for your help in my post over at Faith and Family Live and offering some great BTS tips from John Bishop over at Productivity @ Home. Weekly Column Roundup

Well, we're back home and back into the routine - the clock is on countdown with Eric's first day of school less than a week away. The best part of this morning has been reading and posting all of the wonderful columns for this week from our talented columnists! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and that your week is off to a wonderful start.

Saintly Role Models for Parents: St. Therese's Parents to be Beatified by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Ideas on the Care of the Sick and Infirm by Pat Gohn - Part 2: Physical Nature

A Summer Job Come True - Cruise Director by Cheryl Butler

Sacred Sabbath Time by Susan Handle Terbay

Pack, Read, Play...Eat, Sleep, Pray by Meredith Henning

Auto Pilot by Michele Howe

Begging Works if You Let It by Marybeth Hicks

Poor God by Janet Cassidy

Hearing from God by Karen Wolff

Autism and Nutrition by Kelly, Our "Kitchen Kop"

If Today You Hear His Voice by Sherry Antonetti

Navigating Commercial Landmines by Lisa Barker

Friday, August 08, 2008

The View from My "Office" This Morning

Once again, the old age question begs to be asked - "Is it 'camping' if you have a wifi connection?" This is the view this morning from my "office" - a lawn chair perched along this cliff in Pacifica at the backside of our 28 foot trailer. The only sounds around me are the waves crashing and the gulls loudly calling to one another. A fine mist covers everything, but I'm warm in front of a toasty campfire with a cup of strong coffee at my side and wearing the Clint Eastwood-esque poncho we picked up on a camping trip to Old Town San Diego.

A few years ago, Greg and I saved up and purchased the Mallard, a dinky little trailer from the early nineties that's barely big enough to sleep the four of us and feeling smaller by the day as my boys grow into men. A few times a year, I'm lucky enough to con my normally camping-averse husband into a few days of "camping". This is far from the "roughing it" camping most of you know with tents and homemade trail mix. Our camping adventures normally take us to the outskirts of big cities or to well appointed national parks where we have most of the comforts of home. But somehow, living for four days in less than 300 square feet continues to feel like an adventure despite the fact that we have electricity and hot water.

So this morning, as my boys slumber, I'm sipping coffee and counting my blessings. Having successfully survived day one of this summer's camping extravaganza, who knows what adventures today will bring?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Catholic Moments #64- Rebecca Teti and Sharon Clossick

One great episode, two great moms! This week, Lisa interviews Rebecca Teti of Faith and Family Live and Catholic artist Sharon Clossick. Deacon Tom Fox shares a reflection reminding us to watch for signs of God's love for each of us. Lisa's personal trainer Greg Cheney of Faith First Fitness shares nutritional and fitness wisdom. Share your feedback at 206-339-9272, comment here on the blog or email

Links for This Episode:
Faith and Family Live
Art by Sharon Clossick
Faith First Fitness
The Catholic Company
Lisa's Facebook Profile
Catholic Mom Logo Store

Click here to listen to Catholic Moments #64

Subscribe to the feed | Subscribe with iTunes

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Book Talk with Lisa

On today's Book Talk episode, we take a look at several books I've received this week for review. Please note that I have not yet read these books, so be sure to investigate them carefully for yourself prior to purchasing. To recommend a book, call our feedback line at 206-339-9272, comment here or drop me an email. I'd love to hear about your favorite books too! Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming episodes of Book Chat - you can watch live and be part of the conversation!

Monday, August 04, 2008 Weekly Column Roundup

Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying your last few weeks of summer! Today, I went and picked up Adam's "Back to School" packet, so the real world is feeling very near. We will be heading out for one last camping trip this week to enjoy some family time before things get busy again.

I hope you enjoy this week's wonderful columns and that you have a wonderful week!

Mommy for Hire by Kate Wicker

Dealing with the "Stuff" by Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Libby's Lesson on Love by Deacon Tom Fox

Health and Nutrition not High on Your Priority List Right Now? by Kelly, Our "Kitchen Kop"

High Alert by Michele Howe

I'm Not Perfect! by Susan Handle Terbay

Parents a "Risk" to Children by Marybeth Hicks

Now You See It, Now You Don't by Lisa Barker

New Online Magazine Looks Great!

Congratulations to editor Jennifer Gladen and all of the authors and illustrators involved in the release of the debut issue of My Light Magazine, an online magazine for Catholic children. The magazine is available online free of charge and features poetry, non-fiction articles and fun short stories. In this month's issue you can even find easy instructions for making your own Rosary. The magazine looks to be another great resource to help our kids learn more about our faith while having fun and exploring! Visit My Light Magazine today with your child and start shining the light in your own home!

Join Me Live for a Book Chat on Tuesday

Book Talk with Lisa on Ustream scheduled for 10:00 am PACIFIC Time on Tuesday, 8/5. Come to to listen live! I will be talking about the new books I've received this week, as well as our book club selections for August. Read any good books lately? Join the chat room to participate and share your favorites! This broadcast will also be recorded and will be available here for viewing later in the day.

Catholic Moments, Ustream.TV: Join us as we discuss family life, books, movies, music, personal. Religion,Catholic

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Not Revisiting Brideshead

One of my trusted sources for movie takes, Barbara Nicolosi, roundly pans the recent adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's classic Brideshead Revisited. Too bad, since I was really hoping this would be a good movie. For the record, the Bishops gave it an A-III. I won't be seeing this movie any time soon and thank Barbara for helping me save some time and money! Thanks also to the fabulous Pat Gohn for bringing this matter to my attention so quickly!

Church of the Masses: Brideshead Eviscerated

Teens Helping Teens

Noted author and Homeschooling columnist Maureen Wittmann shared with me the great news about her newest project, a blog for teens entitled No Question Left Behind: Teens Helping Teens. I've shared more great information on this project over at Faith and Family Live.

Congrats to Maureen and her "dream team" of writers for creating what looks to be an incredible resource for our beloved teens!

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Pilgrimage with Adam

Adam and I had the wonderful opportunity to take a train ride via Amtrak to Sacramento this week to have lunch with Heidi Hess Saxton and explore the city. Heidi is one of those amazing women I've "known" online for years, but only recently had the joy of meeting in person. Our visit was a wonderful experience for me - she is such an inspiration and a source of wisdom.

While in Sacramento, Adam and I visited the Capitol, strolled Old Town Sacramento, and took a "pilgrimage" to the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament (shared today at Faith and Family Live!). Spending time with my incredible almost-14 year old confirm's the fact that I'm doubly the world's luckiest mom!

Book Chat with Lisa

I did some experimenting today with Ustream and recorded a short video with some of the books I've received recently in the mail. The following were the titles discussed today, so feel free to check them out and also drop me an email with your recommendations.